Stepanavan Youth Center
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Stepanavan Youth Center was founded by local young people to help in the development of both their hometown of Stepanavan and their country, Armenia. The organization registered with the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Armenia in June 2002. on 10 September 2001 and registered with Armenia's Ministry of Justice on 11 June 2002. The main spheres of activities of the SYC are: environmental, social and cultural activities. All projects and activities of the SYC are directed to involvement of young people in community, promotion of their active participation, development of youth volunteerism and leadership. The organization concentrating on local issues and challenges, is actively working in international level. The main goal is to assist in the exchange of experience, knowledge and skills of young people from Stepanavan and Armenia with their peers across the world, increase information accessibilities and exchange, possibilities and opportunities.
International Events (2005-06)
“Water and Youth" brought together young people from various European countries to share experience, develop knowledge and skills on environmental, water and sustainable development issues. It also aimed to engage and empower them to advocate and participate in solving local environmental issues. The project was organized in Stepanavan, Armenia in August 2005 and September, 2006. "Water and Youth, 2005" was organized in cooperation with Erkyna Group (Greece), Falkor (the Netherlands), and 21st Century (Georgia). Partners of "Water and Youth, 2006" were Biedriba "Celteka" (Latvia), Association Droni (Georgia) and Municipality of Formigine (Italy).
Diversity is Our Strength aimed to connect youth from Armenia, Estonia, Georgia, Russia, Slovakia and Italy to share cultural heritage through dances, music, arts and crafts, and national cuisine providing a platform for improvement of mutual understanding based on respect, tolerance and dialogue among various cultures. Partners of the youth exchange were Baltic Armenian House (Estonia), Municipality of Formigine (Italy), Youth Information Center (Russia), People to People International (Slovakia), and International Union "Ertoba" (Georgia).
The work of the Stepanavan Youth Center was recognized by the Prime Minister of Armenia, Andranik Margaryan, during a 21 December 2004 award ceremony for the Center's president, Lilit Simonyan. This work garnered the SYC an award in June 2004 from YouthActionNet (a joint venture of Nokia and the International Youth Foundation). Over three years, SYC has implemented children’s reading projects in eleven Stepanavan schools, established language and computer training programs and a youth volunteer and psychological club, and published “Talented Youth” a book of poems and stories written by young people. The Center has also launched an ecological project called "Raising Awareness of Water Issues in the Lori Region" SYC president Simonyan was invited to speak in her capacity at Unite For Sight's April 2006 International Health Conference at Yale University, where she gave a presentation on the "Nonprofit Sector and Youth Movement in Armenia", citing the SYC's work there.